Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has worn many faces: We’ve seen abortion as a political movement—a woman’s right to choose trumps a baby’s right to life. We’ve seen the even more progressive left declare a war on women’s wombs—a la “reproductive justice.”
This week, the Ohio Supreme Court heard one of the most important abortion cases of its time. But the pro-choice movement has gone so far, abortion has surpassed being personally expedient or politically progressive—it’s now straight-up celebrated at events nationwide.
In June, actress Martha Plimpton (of “The Goonies” fame) spoke at a “Shout your abortion” event in Seattle. The footage was recently released, and her remarks are a bit surprising—if not disgusting—even for an event created just to brag about abortions.
“I also had my first abortion here at the Seattle Planned Parenthood!” she exclaims, followed by a long, loud, “Yaaayyyyyyyy.” The crowd and host erupted in raucous applause. Plimpton continues: “Notice I said first. And I don’t want you guys to feel insecure. It was my best one. Heads and tails above the rest. If I could ‘Yelp’ review it I totally would.” Plimpton goes on to thank the doctor who performed the abortion, as if she had received a gift from a total stranger.
Treating Abortion Like Stand-Up Comedy
Granted, this particular event likely garnered an unusually abortion-friendly or even abortion-fanatic audience. But Plimpton’s light, airy, celebratory tone—as if she had bought a new home or published a best-selling novel—seems extreme, even in context.
What’s even more alarming is the crowd’s reaction: it sounds as if they had gotten the keys to a new car from Oprah herself. Imagine a serial killer on a talk show announcing that he’d murdered someone years ago, and hearing the crowd exclaim, Wahoooooo! Because that’s basically what happened.
Yet acting like abortion should be celebrated or joked about isn’t uncommon. In April, comedian Louis C.K. thought abortion would be a funny enough topic for a stand-up routine. “Abortion is exactly like taking a s—. Or it isn’t.”
To this, the crowd laughed. “Or it’s killing a baby. It’s only one of those two things.” C.K. says with a smirk. He continues. “I don’t think it’s like killing a baby. Well, I think it’s a little like killing a baby.” The crowd laughs again. “Ok fine. It’s 100 percent killing a baby.”
Now of course, some could say the comedian is using satire to comment on an important, controversial issue in society. But given Louis C.K.’s reputation, it’s unlikely this particular comedian intended for the monologue to be a teaching moment. Instead, whether he thinks abortion is murder or similar to defecating, he thought the topic appropriately hilarious—and apparently his audience agreed.
In both these instances, it’s hard to tell what’s more disgusting: The person making the joke about abortion (because everyone knows how funny it is to kill a living, often-viable-outside-the-womb baby), or the audience cracking up as if they’re listening to someone funnier than Jim Gaffigan. If anyone has seen an abortion live, the after-effects of abortion in photos, or spoken to a woman who’s had an abortion, I can assure you, there’s little humor.
Planned Parenthood Receives Scientific Award?
The act of aborting a baby and the women getting abortions aren’t the only things folks are celebrating these days. Now, we’re celebrating the people who perform abortion too.
The Lasker Awards, which grants some of the country’s most acclaimed prizes in medicine, announced this year that one of their three awards would go to Planned Parenthood. The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which honors scientific achievement, comes with $250,000.
Honoring Planned Parenthood represents an incredible departure from previous winners, and a sad leap toward political discourse for the Lasker Foundation. Past winners include the developers of the modern cochlear implant, and breakthroughs in brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease. Nearly 90 past winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
But the Lasker Foundation is awarding Planned Parenthood because they’ve provided “essential health services and reproductive care to millions of women for more than a century.” It’s unclear how Planned Parenthood, which aborts 300,000 babies per year, has bettered the medical community, let alone provided any scientific breakthroughs. Reports show while Planned Parenthood does provide some “essential health services” like “free” birth control, some clinics hardly provide any medical help at all and mostly focus on abortion.
Lasker is an esteemed, reputable organization honoring top scientists. Other winners this year are the developers of the HPV vaccines. The fact that Lasker would foray into the realm of political correctness and essentially celebrate Planned Parenthood—which would rather abort babies than even admit science shows life begins at conception—is either misguided or vile. Or both.
Murder Shouldn’t Be Celebrated—Viability Should Be
What’s so sickening about the way abortion is now celebrated is that there are significant scientific advancements in the opposite direction, ones that should be celebrated more.
Now babies are being born at an age when they would often have been aborted: scientific advancements have allowed babies to survive and thrive outside their mother’s wombs. Over the course of this last year, a baby born in Israel at 22 weeks has survived; after seven months in a Texas hospital, a baby born at 22 weeks finally went home. In England, Austin Douglas weighed as much as “a half a bag of sugar” when he was born. He is now thriving. The irony of this particular birth is that most abortions in England occur before the 24-week mark.
While many abortions occur in America during the first trimester, before viability, a good 10 to 20 percent occur during the second trimester when they could be saved with medical intervention. A study from the Journal of American Medical Association showed last year that 62 percent of babies born at 22 to 23 weeks are viable outside the womb with significant medical aid. For anyone who loves our esteemed Mary Katharine Ham’s gestational fruit comparisons, that’s a baby the size of a spaghetti squash, or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. A woman who decides she should get an abortion at 22 weeks, because it wouldn’t really “be a baby anyway,” couldn’t be more wrong. Not only is it a baby—said human could likely survive and thrive, even if he or she were born right then.
Applauding Abortion Cannot Hide Its Atrocity
If people are going to clap when a Hollywood actress has an abortion, shouldn’t they clap when a teenager bravely gives birth, then gives her baby up for adoption because she feels too young to raise him? If people are going to laugh at a comedian inciting abortion for fun, why not smile when Jim Gaffigan jokes about having a big family? If awards are going to be granted about medical breakthroughs, shouldn’t they be granted to the scientists who, in 2013, invented a 3-D-printed windpipe that helps infants breathe?
It was bad enough when abortion was a political talking point or a personal triumph. Now that it’s a celebratory event, it’s even more disgusting. We keep celebrating all the wrong things, letting others decide which events are worthy of celebration. Like Caesar’s Rome, when the city would broadcast the torture and murder of Christians in the colosseum, people today love—nay, laugh about—this murderous crime.
To the Hollywood elite hoping we’ll applaud their abortions, the comedians ghoulish enough to twist murder into a stand-up routine, and the science organization which allowed political correctness to trump scientific achievement: Abortion cannot be your campaign, your celebration, or your cause. Because no lens, no hashtag, no filter, no award can mask the atrocity it will always be.
Abortion is not a bumper sticker, hashtag humblebrag, joke, or gold star for scientific achievement. Whether one hour or five decades after Roe v. Wade’s drastic decision, abortion will never just be a talking point, political strategy, comedic routine, or moving film scene. It will always be just what it is: the homicide of a living human being, made in God’s image.